RSAA 2023: Romantic Renewal

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Romantic Studies Association of Australasia Conference
contact email: 

RSAA 2023: Romantic RenewalMelbourne, Australia, 6 to 8 December 2023Hosted by Monash University and Deakin University


Confirmed keynotes:

Dr Madeleine Callaghan, University of Sheffield

Professor Porscha Fermanis, University College Dublin

Professor Jon Mee, University of York


We invite proposals for the 2023 Romantic Studies Association of Australasia Conference, to be hosted in central Melbourne at Deakin Downtown. The conference will explore the theme of Renewal – broadly conceived – in Romanticism.

For many scholars the genre is synonymous, at the blissful dawn of its early phase, with the promise of renewed hope for humanity that the French Revolution appeared to signify. Less happily, the resumption of tyranny in the Terror could also be called a renewal of sorts. We see figures like Blake responding to both phases. Some political developments were ostensibly false starts but had great cultural significance; the 1802 Peace of Amiens, for example, was short-lived in itself, but enabled artists such as Turner to travel to Europe and gain fresh creative-impetus that would last for years. With one eye on the past, Romanticism is concerned with new ways of doing things: to many, Romanticism 101 means the rehabilitation of poetic forms in Lyrical Ballads, or the persistent themes of reconnection and revivification in Austen’s Persuasion. Yet scholarship today is much concerned with defining the genre in new ways that encompass the geographically broad, culturally diverse, and interconnected world of Romanticism. Those interested in bicentenaries will find new beginnings in 1823 – it was the year that Byron left Italy to advance the cause of Greek independence – and occasions to approach the theme more obliquely: it was also the year in which Ann Radcliffe died.

PhD students and early-career researchers (within 3 years of award of the doctorate) should note, at the time of submitting abstracts, whether they would like to be considered for a bursary. These will have a value of $500 (Australian), likely to comprise a fee-waiver and a modest contribution towards expenses.

Topics for discussion might include:

Adaptations, reinventions, and retellings

Biographical new beginnings

New configurations of Romanticism

Phases of creativity

Ancient ideals implemented in new ways

Publishing initiatives

Medical treatment and convalescence

Historical moments of renewal

Formal innovations


The organisers welcome 250-word proposals for individual papers (20 minutes), or for themed panels of three speakers (containing three full abstracts and a title). Please email proposals to conference organiser Chris Murray ( by 30 June. To facilitate travel plans, we will endeavour to respond to proposals as soon as possible after the deadline.